When you are in the midst of something happening in your life that you hope will be a lifelong memory, it’s a unique feeling.

These instances seem to be coming fast and furious these days with the kids, and we are trying our best to embrace them as they come. It would be nice if life would slow down a little though to allow us time to enjoy and appreciate them. In the meantime, we video and photograph as much as we can so one day when life’s pace slows a little we can revisit and enjoy some of these moments, such as the following for example.


For the last several months, Beckett has been taking karate at Chesapeake Martial Arts. He recently scored his first colored belt and seems to be enjoying it.

During a recent class, Beckett was presented an academic badge for getting a good report card. We were proud of this because it showed progress in school in some areas that we hoped karate could address, such as self-discipline and self-control.

We sent over the report card without Beckett knowing so he would be surprised when he received it. Therefore, I videotaped him the entire time to see his reaction. He proudly walked up to his instructor, accepted his new badge and brought it over to me.

Nothing remarkable until he returned to his designated spot on the mat and proudly announced, “well, mission accomplished.”

The class went on, but not without some chuckles over that comment.

Later, when I asked him what that meant, hoping he wasn’t looking to stop karate, he said, “I was just being a goof ball.”

That much I did know.



Carson’s transition to a real bed was an easy one.

Back when the kids were born, we bought them each cribs that would one day transition into toddler beds and then later to “big boy” beds.

With Carson, the move from the crib to the toddler bed was an interesting one. He basically didn’t want anything to do with the actual toddler bed and seemed to prefer sleeping on the floor for some reason. Eventually, we just put the mattress on the floor next to the toddler bed and he was excited about that.

Soon enough, guilt took over, and parental guilt, as you probably know, can be a strong and powerful feeling. The next thing I know we are buying a full mattress and box spring and I am tasked on a Saturday afternoon with breaking down the toddler bed and putting together the full bed.

I was thinking it would be simple because I just did the same thing with the same toddler bed for Beckett last year. However, because I am utterly inept when it comes to anything involving tools and handy work, it was even more challenging the second time. At one point, after I promised him if he gave me an hour alone to put it together we would do something fun, Beckett came upstairs and starting trash talking. Once he came into the room, his disappointment in my lack of progress was evident, saying, “oh come on, you haven’t done anything up here. It will be dark before you get this done.”

It was 3 p.m. and I was worried he might be right. Fortunately, I got my act together (thanks to a handy lady on YouTube) and finished it up about an hour later.

Since Beckett was already involved in it in some part, he and I went upstairs to videotape Carson’s reaction. Carson had no idea what was being done upstairs, thanks largely to Pam keeping him entertained and telling him the banging from upstairs was nothing for him to worry about.

His reaction when he came in the room was priceless. With a non-verbal child, the facial expressions are everything. When he smiles and is happy about something, it’s so special. His excitement is obvious. He’s just not screaming and talking about it. It’s shown through his huge smile and gestures.

As soon as he came upstairs, he ran over to the bed and put his hands on it, motioning for his big brother get on the bed with him. They jumped on it and immediately got under the covers together. While Beckett was giving the verbal play-by-play of everything that was happening, Carson was smiling from ear to ear.

That was a good day and a great video.


It took Pam about five minutes last weekend to teach Beckett how to ride a bike without training wheels.

Once she was able to get Beckett to focus on her, thanks in part to me removing Carson from the area for a bit, she was the master teacher.

At one point, I happened to glance over to see what they were doing while Carson rode around on his big wheel (I still love those). To my surprise, Beckett was riding. As I fumbled for my phone to get some video, he wiped out because he was trying to make a sharp turn for some reason.

Fortunately, he got back up and started again, and I was able to get him biking for about five minutes on video. I’m not sure if Beckett or Pam was more excited, but either way it was a special memory.

Of course, now that he thinks he has mastered biking, he wants to try out a motorcycle. It was easy to convince him that was not happening anytime soon. Instead, in typical bargaining fashion, he moved on to jumping curbs and riding without hands. He even mentioned something about riding with a blindfold on.

He’s a funny kid.